CANR faculty honored with MSU International Awards

Four CANR faculty will be honored at the 2024 MSU International Awards on April 24 for their outstanding contributions toward international engagement and understanding

Held each spring by Michigan State University International Studies and Programs, the MSU International Awards celebrate outstanding contributions toward international engagement and understanding. This year, four members of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources community are being honored at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at the MSUFCU Club at Spartan Stadium. This year’s CANR honorees include George W. Bird, Callista B. Rakhmatov, Gail A. Vander Stoep and Lisa Tiemann.  

George W. Bird, professor emeritus in the Department of Entomology, will receive the Special Recognition Award for Promoting International Understanding. Bird, who began his teaching career at MSU in 1973, is well known for his work in integrated pest management, sustainable agriculture and sustainable-equitable development. A consistent voice in academia, Bird pushed for partnership with farmers to support environmentally sound agriculture. His work and advocacy have resulted in lasting contributions to MSU, CANR and the Department of Entomology. In 2022, the GW Bird Family Foundation for Environmentally Sound Agriculture was established in Bird’s honor, with the goal of fostering environmentally sound agricultural innovation through the sponsorship of an annual award, grants and a website.  

Callista B. Rakhmatov, global network specialist with CANR International Programs and academic specialist in the Department of Entomology, will receive the Charles A. Gliozzo International Award for Public Diplomacy. Rakhmatov’s multidisciplinary research and training has strong emphasis on technology transfer, commercialization and science communications. Rakhmatov began her career at MSU in 2008 as an assistant professor and program coordinator in the Institute of International Agriculture, where she designed and implemented capacity-building programs for international agricultural professionals in the U.S. and abroad. In her current role, Rakhmatov works to support CANR’s International Programs and Global Scholars.   

Gail A. Vander Stoep, associate professor emeritus within the Department of Community Sustainability, will receive the MSU Award for Outstanding Service to Education Abroad. Vander Stoep’s areas of scholarship span the fields of cultural and heritage tourism, sustainable community development and museum studies. Vander Stoep teaches a handful of courses, with focus on recreation and resources management, park interpretive services and coastal heritage. Her work as co-lead or co-director of numerous study abroad programs showcase her international reach. An additional research project, focused on the concept of “Education Abroad as a Sustainability and System Thinking Pedagogical Tool” to mindfully assess the impacts of a particular study abroad program, further supports Vander Stoep’s service and support of education abroad.  

Lisa Tiemann, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, will receive the Carl K. Eicher International Development Award. Tiemann’s research interests include soil organic matter dynamics and nitrogen cycling. Tiemann’s work recognizes the global impact of declining soil health, and with notable projects in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, she has developed collaborations worldwide to foster positive change. In 2023, Tiemann received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Kenya to help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa learn how to improve soil health, thereby increasing local production and efficiency. In 2022, CANR honored Tiemann as a Global Scholar for her agroecological approach to research and related development of innovative approaches to agriculture that help increase system productivity, resilience and sustainability. 


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